BlackBerry 10 and Samsung Knox approved by US military

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has approved BlackBerry and Samsung mobile devices for use on its networks

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has approved BlackBerry and Samsung mobile devices for use on its networks after weeks of testing.

The approved devices are BlackBerry 10 smartphones, BlackBerry PlayBook tablets using the Enterprise Service 10 system and Samsung’s Android Knox.

The approval of BlackBerry 10 was almost a foregone conclusion after the platform was awarded the US government’s FIPS 140-2 security certification in November 2012.

BlackBerry once reigned as the mobile of choice for the public sector, but the DoD’s approval of a Samsung device is yet another indication this is changing.

While BlackBerry was banking on government approval in key markets, it will not be without growing competition from rivals.

The Pentagon said earlier this week it expects to clear Apple devices using iOS 6 in early May 2013.

In the UK, the government’s technical security advisor CESG is due to issue mobile platform guidance this summer that will cover a number of platforms besides BlackBerry 10.

In November 2012, Apple’s iPhone was given the go-ahead to be used for sensitive emails in UK government, indicating BlackBerry was no longer the only player in this market.

A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement that the DoD is moving towards establishing a multiple-supplier environment for its 600,000 mobile users, that supports a variety of devices and operating systems.

In February, the Pentagon announced it would broaden its approved mobile devices, so the military can access the latest technology and not have to depend on one supplier, according to TechCrunch.

The DoD currently has 470,000 BlackBerry users. There are 41,000 Apple users and 8,700 Android users, most participating in pilot or test programmes, the report said.

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